Bill Hader, Saturday Night Live's rubbery-faced king of impressions, is going to leave the variety show after the season finale this week. He tells the NY Times, "It was a hard decision, but it has to happen at some point. It got to a point where I said, 'Maybe it’s just time to go.'"
Hader has been with the show for eight seasons and has been known for his pitch-perfect parodies of Al Pacino, a dumb Californian, Clint Eastwood and James Carville. However, he's probably best known for being New York nightlife expert Stefon:
Hader and writer John Mullaney collaborated the character of Stefon—Mullaney had met someone who wanted to develop a club with "everything" while Hader based the look on a Chelsea coffee shop barista:
SNL producer Lorne Michael told the Times that when he first saw Hader, he was reminded of Dan Ackroyd, "In terms of intelligence and talent, he was in that same tradition. He was so completely committed to the art of it and enough a student of it that there’s something strikingly original. He didn’t explode onto the air, but gradually he found his voice, and that became a huge thing."
Hader was nominated for a supporting actor Emmy this past fall and has been doing other TV shows (like The Mindy Project) and films. He doesn't think his final show will be too emotional, like Kristen Wiig's last year, "My joke was, we’ll start singing ‘Ruby Tuesday’ and just say bye to Kristen again. I can just do a little wave at goodnights, and that signifies it."
We'll have fewer laughs for sure—just bask in Hader's brilliance as a Vietnam vet taking a puppet class: